Saturday, April 5, 2008

Do Not Grow Weary...

“But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good.” 2 Thessalonians 3:13

Please don’t tell me that I am alone on this one! :) I am just going to live dangerously here…and assume…that the other women, wives, mothers and/or home educators here occasionally battle “weariness” in their “good doing”. :)

It’s not like I have a lot of outside obstacles that cause me to grow weary. I grow weary from within. I thought child #5 was potty trained. Well, I am weary of finding poop on the carpet or the bathroom decorated because she messes her pants and, not wanting to be found out, tries to clean herself up without help. Or sitting on the couch or on my bed only to find my skirt getting wet, jumping up, smelling the surface and…you betcha…it ain’t spilled water! Trying to explain to one child how his paragraph comparing and contrasting silence is missing a good closing sentence while the one year old is screaming at the top of his lungs to be picked up and the 5 year old is yelling at the 3 year old to give her doll back. Looking over the budget after paying the bills and realizing that I have way overspent in groceries so we cannot buy ANYTHING from the store for the next month so that I can get us back out of the hole again. Pasta, pretzels and peanut butter out of the pantry anyone?

Anyhow, we had an especially loud, entertaining bible time today. The older ones were laughing at the younger three dancing and performing while singing their favorite bible choruses at the top of their lungs when I realized I was feeling that “weary” again. I could not enjoy the moment with them. Okay, God…let’s get to work on this heart of mine again…

I looked up the original language of the verse (which you are going to find is a PASSION with me :) and found something I thought to be interesting. The words “grow” and “weary” are not 2 separate words in the Greek, but “grow weary” is one word “Ekkakeo” which means “to denote moral behavior and used in the sense of being in the midst of misfortune; to be unfortunate; desperate; usually translated ‘to lose heart’”.

WOW! I then thought, well I am not that then, I just get “tired” of certain things. Really? Is that all it is, really? Do I not feel sorry for myself and a bit angry as I clean up that potty mess for the 1000th time in my life? Don’t I feel a little desperate in my situation when everyone is clamoring for Mama and I am trying to get lessons done while at the same time train and discipline the little ones...and don't forget dinner and laundry! Haven’t I “lost heart” some when I should be laughing at something cute someone said or did, but part of me doesn’t even want to smile at them? Okay…reality check done…I guess I do “grow weary” in that Greek sort of way.

Let’s look at the verb tense here; it is “aorist subjunctive used as an imperative”. What makes that so important is that Paul was saying here… “growing weary”—feeling desperate, unfortunate, losing heart—is forbidden! You are not doing it now, but you are not to start, and that is a command! WOW again, right? This is when I had to cry out to God for forgiveness. Reading and understanding the truths of God’s word forces us to take our sin seriously. For years I’ve just told myself to “buck up” or “take a nap” or, my personal favorite, “tea and chocolate time”. :) Sometimes we ARE just tired and that IS all that we need. That’s not what I am talking about here. I am talking about the “I am REALLY tired of this and I am frustrated and I am angry and I am sad, depressed even…and I ???” Does that make sense? So what am I to do? Ahhh…there is ALWAYS an answer in the Bible! Praise God, because I could really use one at this point!

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for (hope in) the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings (sprout wings) like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” Isaiah 40:28-31.

God you are SO awesome! Aren’t those verses incredible? I always thought so, but not more so than today!

God then brought to my mind something that He showed me a couple of years ago on the scripture “the joy of the Lord is my strength”. The primary root word for “joy” in this usage means “to join with”. What a revelation to learn that it is the “joining with” the Lord that is my strength! When my human frailty and imperfections fail me, I just need to remind myself that I have the promise of God’s strength and it is not in trying to be joyful and in trying not to “grow weary”, but in joining with Him in the things which He has called me to do. The added benefit being that is also where the joy is! Being in the center of God’s will and going to Him for guidance and strength in all that I do and all that I am while living within that life that He has laid out before me. WOW again! What a loving, sustaining God! Am I unfortunate?…desperate?…losing heart?…weary?…NO WAY! I am JOYFUL!... and with a joy sustained by my Abba Father!

I’m thinking God wanted to check right away to see if I really understood what He desired to teach me. Did I? Yep! While writing this out I needed to go upstairs to get my Greek Lexicon and smelled a…well, let’s just say, a not so pleasant smell. Yes…it is spring again with kids playing outside and I have the dog poop traipsed through the house to prove it. I took a deep breath, smiled :), thanked God for the opportunity to serve Him and love my family and cleaned up all the messes I could find throughout the house. It really wasn’t so bad. And when I was finishing up, two little blonde headed girls brought me some treasures from outside. We were out of dandelions, but I have a lovely crystal vase on my table right now filled with green and brown swamp grass. :)

(This was actually written a few days before the post "The Difference in Lists" which is where the inspiration for receiving swamp grass came from. :)